Girl With One Eye

A few days ago I posted about my frustration with my diabetes management and my lack of motivation.  Today’s post is going to expand a bit on that lack of motivation.  (Yeah, another downer…sorry.)

The main reason for tightening up my diabetes control has been to take the first step toward potentially having another baby.  Dr. Ophtho has given me the go-ahead, but my bloodsugars have to be stellar – as close to non-D as possible – to reduce the chances of diabetes-related complications during pregnancy and to prep that baby for an early arrival if complications do arise.

So the potential for another baby hinges on (a) my diabetes control, and (b) my eyes (i.e. my retinopathy).  In spite of Dr. Ophtho’s go-ahead, there are still risks that need to be weighed in making The Decision.

I told you about part (a) on Friday, but here’s the rest of the story….part (b).

My left eye has been leaking like a faucet for over a week now.  Okay, not really a faucet – more like a garden sprinkler…the gentle kind, not the “ch-ch-ch-ch-chchchchchch” kind.  But any leaking is bad leaking when it comes to retinal haemorrhages. 

None of the bleeds have been significant.  They’re mostly just streaky and drippy.  The problem is that even streaking and dripping and gentle sprinkling add up to a lot over the course of the week.  Through my left eye I now see opaque streaks and dots, as well as a general haze throughout…but the worst is the big blurry blob that has settled right in my central vision.

With my right eye closed, I wouldn’t be able to drive, read, watch TV, apply makeup, or do many other of my usual day-to-day activities.  With my right eye open I can, but with a lot of eye strain and significantly reduced depth perception.  In the past week, I’ve tripped while taking the dog for a walk because I didn’t see a clump of snow, and I’ve completely miscalculated where on my test strip to put the drop of blood, among other one-eyed frustrations. 

In the past, my retinal bleeds have always stopped and have always cleared up to a large degree (although never completely).  It’s reasonable to expect the same in this case.  But that doesn’t make this less frustrating.

What makes this more frustrating is that it really makes me question whether I even want to take the risk of getting pregnant again.  Bleeds like this don’t change Dr. Ophtho’s stance on this – it’s proliferation that concerns him, and he feels the risk of that is quite low in my case.  But do bleeds change my stance on this? 

If I knew that I’d be guaranteed to always have sight in my right eye, the decision would be much easier.  A person can learn to live with only one functioning eye.  But I have retinopathy in both eyes, so there can never be any such guarantee for me.  My right eye is in better shape than my left, but it hasn’t been haemorrhage-free either.

Anyway, now I’m in a position to be trying desperately to rein in my bloodsugars…for something that might not even happen.  And this is supposed to be motivating how?

So I’m playing the waiting game again, hoping that the bleeding will stop and the mess will clear up (preferably sooner rather than later).  In the meantime, I guess I’ll stick to walking carefully, practicing my one-eyed test strip aim, and trying to stay motivated (somehow)…and I’ll be enjoying one of my favourite Florence + the Machine songs with a bit more irony now.


10 responses to this post.

  1. Two things:

    1. I ❤ Florence + The Machine. Get your filthy fingers out of my pie!
    2. I'm glad you blog. This one is two fold…it's totally healthy for you to vent and get things out of your system. It's also good for me to come here and see what other people with D are going through.

    Thanks for sharing some of your personal frustrations. I know you'll get through this girl!!


    • Thanks Mike 🙂 I’m glad you blog too! Partially because it gives me an insight into what other PWD are dealing with, but also because your stories are always highly entertaining! (hug)


  2. Posted by Lindsay on March 2, 2011 at 11:31 am

    Great post! Is there anything that can be done – like laser, to stop the bleeds?
    wishing you clear eyes


    • Thanks Lindsay. Unfortunately laser treatments can’t be done on leaks from proliferative vessels, which is what’s happening here. If it gets bad enough, I can have surgery to have the blood removed (i.e. a vitrectomy), but it’s not an ideal option. It’s better to wait to see if it clears up on its own (which it usually does – in time).


  3. I don’t know what it’s like to be where you are or with the decisions that have been placed in front of you. But by golly you are still strong enough to write about it. That means something.


  4. Posted by Grace on July 18, 2011 at 2:35 am

    I’ve just been told I have an advanced case of proliferative diabetic retinopathy, with significant bleeding in one eye and a large number of abnormal cells in both. Laser doesn’t seem to be working, and surgery is not an option with so many little ‘time bombs’ in my retinas, as my doctor puts it. How do you begin to process the prospect of going blind?

    Every time I go to the clinic for laser, the nurses tell me to follow the yellow line om the ground, which leads to the treatment room. But I can’t see lines, let alone make out a wide range of colours. Walking into doors, putting down my keys only to lose them two seconds later and mistaking my puppy for a shadow on the ground is really only the tip of the iceberg.

    But I am glad that you have made the decision to write about this. I still don’t even know how to tell my friends. Looking forward to reading more about you, because if there is one comfort to be found in any trying time, it’s knowing that an experience is shared by another.

    I hope your eyes are stable and that you are closer to having another child.

    Best wishes and many thoughts your way.



    • Thanks for writing, Grace. I wish I could answer your question about processing the prospect of going blind, but I can’t – and I think it’s probably rhetorical anyway. I’m so sorry to hear of what you’re going through. You’re so right that the knowledge that you’re not alone in this does provide comfort. I have a few “retinopathy buddies” that I lean on heavily when I experience setbacks with my eyes, and it really does make a difference to know that someone understands what you’re going through. I’m glad you found Me With D, and please do keep coming back and commenting as well. All the best to you!


  5. Posted by marion on August 24, 2011 at 11:38 am

    Hi Bethany and Grace – bethany you kindly emailed me a few times when I first went on the diabetes forums and was getting to grips with my retinopathy. Glad to see your blog is still here:) This year my eyes were doing pretty well until a few weeks ago since when i’ve had a continual bleed in my left eye – and my right (the good one!) has been getting murky too. Reading your own and Grace’s tales makes me want to give you both a big hug. It’s good to know there’s people out there with the same dark worries and frustrations and this definitely helps with the fear! and if the worse things do happen, we’ll find a way to deal with it. My email is if anyone needs a sympathetic ear (my ears were ok last time i checked) xx


    • Aw, thanks Marion. I definitely remember emailing with you a while back. So sorry to hear that you’re having trouble again. We retinopathy folks need to stick together! Take care and all the best!


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